Saturday, June 8, 2013

One thing I hope for from a Christy Clark government

I would love to see the government selling all the government owned liquor stores and get our of the distribution business. has a lot to say on the subject.

Alcohol is a legal product and many other countries show us that liberal laws relating to the product and a fully private system works just fine.    We are still burdened with the remnants of the failed quasi prohibition of alcohol in BC of close to 100 years ago.

We have seen through some decades now that the world does not come to an end if private liquor stores operate in BC.   No one has shown any downsides to the new private stores and they have even managed to be successful within the bizarre and restrictive rules in BC.   One of the biggest worries was with under age drinking, I see no evidence of this is now more of a problem.

Selling off the liquor stores would free up a bunch of capital for the government and allow the province to reduce the debt load.   The government would also see more taxes coming in because the private liquor stores would have to pay corporate income taxes and other fees that the government ones do not pay at the moment.  

If we were to have a fully private system I expect our selection would improve.   I can see stores specializing in beers, wines, or other alcohol.  

It will also be easier for the government to police the sales of booze to underage people because there is no conflict of interest.   At the moment it seems to easier for underage people to buy a six pack of beer at a government liquor store than a private one.   I am not sure the BCGEU would take kindly to stings being run on their members in the government liqour stores.

How does it make sense for the government to operate a completely separate distribution system for booze?   There are no shortage of food and drink logistics companies operating in BC that could take over all the liquor distribution.   We can trust the private sector to distribute tobacco so we should be able to trust them to

I would like to see this done in conjunction with changes to liquor laws in the province.

  • Let me buy my alcohol where I shop for my food.   My children are not going to be corrupted by seeing alcohol for sale.  Cigarettes are available in grocery store and they are more harmful and much more addictive than alcohol.
  • Have a single liquor licence for all establishments that want to sell alcohol - let them decide how much of a focus it will be of their business.   There are no end of restaurants out there that really operate as if they were a bar.  
  • Make is easier for non-profits and the public to hold events that have alcohol at them

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